A newly minted four-star general is assigned the thankless task of establishing the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces in Netflix’s highly anticipated new satirical comedy series, Space Force, starring Steve Carell. Netflix just dropped the official trailer, showcasing an all-star cast and all the sharp, witty writing one would expect from the creators of the US version of The Office.
Created by Carell and Greg Daniels (who also created Parks and Recreation and the new comedy series Upload), Space Force was inspired in part by the Trump administration’s announcement that it would establish a national Space Force. (The real-life new branch successfully launched an Atlas V rocket in late March.) The cast also includes John Malkovich (The New Pope), Ben Schwartz (Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Recreation), Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley, Crazy Rich Asians), Noah Emmerich (The Americans), Lisa Kudrow (Friends), and Jane Lynch (Glee, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), among others.
Per the official premise:
A decorated pilot with dreams of running the Air Force, four-star general Mark R. Naird (Steve Carell) is thrown for a loop when he finds himself tapped to lead the newly formed sixth branch of the US Armed Forces: Space Force. Skeptical but dedicated, Mark uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado where he and a colorful team of scientists and “Spacemen” are tasked by the White House with getting American boots on the moon (again) in a hurry and achieving total space dominance.
The trailer opens with Mark, freshly promoted, attending a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he learns that the president wants “complete space dominance” and is, therefore, establishing a new branch of the military: Space Force. And Mark, who initially thinks it’s a joke, gets stuck with the assignment to establish the new branch. Let’s just say it was not the promotion he was hoping for.
Nonetheless, he’s a good soldier (or airman) and throws himself into the project. “There will be setbacks, but greatness was never won without sacrifice,” he nobly declares. Fine words, but can he navigate the political waters when his archrival, General Kick Grabaston (Noah Emmerich), among others, is rooting for him to fail? Mark’s chief scientist, Dr. Adrian Mallory (Malkovich), has a pacifist bent not entirely suited to a military branch (“Space should be a zone of wonder, not of conflict and death”).
“As a scientist you have a loyalty to reason, which makes you a little untrustworthy,” Mark tells Dr. Mallory.
Clearly there are going to be setbacks, since we see that a test of a prototype, worth at least “four middle schools,” does not go well. There’s an obvious parody of US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC) in a shot of a congressional hearing. On a personal level, Mark’s teenage daughter, Erin (Diana Silvers), isn’t adjusting to her new life in Colorado particularly well (“Got suspended. Gave a teacher the finger”). At least Carell gets a chance to show off his deadpan comedic chops by singing and dancing alone in his office to the Beach Boys. That’s one way to deal with all the stress.
Space Force will begin streaming on Netflix on May 29, 2020.
Listing image by Netflix